At some point we would all agree life can be a battle, some minute, some epic. Some we win, and some we lose. The important part is that we learn and grow through those different-sized battles and struggles.
When we do struggle with personal battles, it can often feel very lonely and like the struggle is isolated. In fact, it is just the opposite: most personal struggles are universal. As human beings we all share similar trials and tribulation; they just manifest within our own private circumstances. I think in some ways, this universal struggle actually brings us all together.
This week’s movements are taken from yoga. You don’t have to be a devout yoga practitioner to reap the benefits of these simple all over body strengthening and balancing exercise.
In yoga they are referred to as the warrior poses. I have no doubt in my mind that if our bodies are strong and balanced, we can deal with what life throws at us more positively and with resilience.
By practicing exercises that make you stronger, you not only build strength in your body, but also empower your life with vitality, energy, and well-being.
Try these moves to enhance your body and mind. Becoming strong and confident, you’ll be ever more capable of winning the battles and overcoming the struggles.
1. Warrior 1
Have your feet and legs in a wide lunge position. Extend both arms up beside your head reaching your fingertips sky high. Feel the deep stretch in the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, and then repeat on the other side.
2. Warrior 2
Stand with your feet wide, right foot facing to the side, left foot facing forward. Stretch your arms out as far as your can, Bend your right knee and sink your body down as low as your possible can. Feel the stretch in your legs and core. Strong like a warrior. Lengthen your arms like your are being pulled on gently by your fingertips. Sink deeply into the position to really work your legs. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, then repeat on the other side
3. Sun Warrior
This will be exactly the same set up as Warrior 1. Reach the same arm as the front leg to the sky and the same arm as the back leg towards your back heel. Lean back as far as your can.
4. Triangle Pose
Stand with your feet wide, right foot facing to the side, left foot facing forward. Stretch your arms out as far as you can. Slide your torso across to the right, and tilt your body reaching your right hand to your right ankle. Keep your hips, torso and shoulders facing towards the front of the room. Look down if your neck feels strain and up to challenge your balance. The further your hand goes towards the floor the harder the movement becomes. Hold for 30seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side
All four movements will stretch your hips and thighs in different ways. They are also strength bases movements, so are also fantastic for strengthening your lower body in particular. Do them in the morning to get your body and mind ready for the day.
Emma-Kate Stampton is a certified Pilates instructor and a certified personal trainer. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.